Titles Really Don’t Count
I’m headed to a very exclusive, private island hideaway: highly low key, full of interesting people, discreet service, and no matching luggage required.
I find myself sitting in a beautiful bungalow at a dock on the mainland, peacefully decorated in white-washed imported teak furniture from Bali, flourishing white orchids surrounding me, and the smell of peppermint and eucalyptus on the refreshing cold towel that I am cooling off with.
I am alone until an unassuming, cool looking gentleman enters the room, fresh off a plane, designer sunglasses still on. We wait. He is handed a cold towel by “Reki”, a beautiful Balinese woman who is there to see us off. The private boat arrives.
We are guided down the teak wood dock, where we introduce ourselves. “My name is Adam” he tells me. We get on the boat, ready to sail a half hour on the sparkling turquoise water to a white sand paradise where everyone is someone and titles don’t count. We are sitting side by side as the 85 degree sun beats down, passing chains of islands that make up our Caribbean paradise.
We pass Donna Karan’s sprawling abode, then see a sliver of Keith Richard’s island hideaway, and then Bruce Willis’ residence.
“I flew in from New York,” Adam tells me with a British accent. “I used to come here back in the 80’s where I’d stay at the Third Turtle Inn on the mainland. There wasn’t much else here.”
Adam informs me that he’s returning to this paradise once again from when he used to visit the island with an old girlfriend he no longer sees. He’s come to relax, use the spa, and eat healthy before he leaves again for London. “That’s nice,” I tell him as we stare out onto the breathtaking horizon. We talk about our love of travel as the boat slows over the tranquil waters ready to pull into the resort.
“What requires you to travel so much?” I ask Adam. “I’m a musician” he tells me. That’s interesting, I think to myself. “Are you with a group I might know?” I ask him. He humbly tells me.
Over the next 24 hrs I get to know Adam over lunch, visits by the stunning infinity pool and even taking a Pilates class. The truth is I really know nothing about “Adam” which I think he may have found to be a refreshing change.
Over the course of my stay he tells me about his life in a very unassuming kind of way. He recounts his childhood in Kenya, followed by boarding school in London (where he acquired the British accent rather than Irish), to public school in Dublin where he eventually met his band mates (never calling them by name,) his brief stint in a Christian rock band, openly how he got sober 10 years ago and his struggle with living a fulfilled life with all the fame and indispensable income.
Today Adams lives a more content life, enjoying what he considers the “finer” things in life (like visiting an art museum, reading and even taking Pilates or a yoga class.) Gone are the days of drugs and alcohol, supermodels and the excesses of an extremely high-profile person.
“Adam” I came to find is a very soulful, kind, down-to-earth person who albeit has fame, fortune and all that life has to offer, still has to live one day at a time like the rest of us. It was a fortuitous meeting for both of us in many ways, most of which I keep private (and all very good.)
We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and will keep in touch when he visits Boston next in September. We parted ways and he wished me well on my journeys.
I told him, “Don’t lose sight of your dreams, Adam. You may very well become one of the most successful Christian rock stars of all times.” He laughed with me in amusement.
Adam, by the way, did tell me which band he was with back when I asked him that first day we met on the boat. “I’m with a band called U2.” he told me very modestly.
“Oh, yes, yes, of course…” I said realizing this was Adam Clayton, U2’s bass player, trying to contain my obliviousness and amazement, all the while trying not to fall off the back of the boat.